Red sauce: Begin by making your choice of sauce: I have 2 recipes you can use depending on how much time you have. I ever-so-slightly prefer this Bolognese Sauce; it's rich and creamy and takes at least 90 minutes start to finish. (you will have a bit of sauce leftover.) This Easy Spaghetti Sauce takes about 30 minutes and is a made from a doctored jar of marinara. It's delicious but less rich. It makes exactly the amount you need for this lasagna. Tap on either recipe to get the full info.
Ricotta filling: While your sauce is cooking, make the ricotta mixture. In a medium size bowl, add 1 and 1/2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese. (Sometimes they sell 2 lb tubs, or you can use 1 and a 1/2 of the 15-oz tubs.)
Add 1 large egg, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese(it melts better), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Beat this mixture together and set aside (or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.)
Slice and grate cheese: You need 1 and 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese. I prefer to buy a block of cheese and slice it myself, for better melting, but pre-sliced is going to work just fine. Divide the sliced mozzarella into 3 piles, about 8 ounces each. Grate about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and set aside. Layer your lasagna: It's go time people. We have all our components and we're ready to layer this bad boy. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.Spray the upper edges of a deep 9x13 inch casserole with nonstick spray. (A 9x13 inch cake pan is going to struggle to fit.) Then add:
Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of the pan, all the way to the corners.
Arrange three no boil noodles on top (I know they look small but they will expand in the oven.)
Add one third of the ricotta mixture (not 1/3 cup, a third of what's there). Spread it all the way to the corners, do your best.
Add two cups sauce and spread.
Add 8-ounces of sliced mozzarella.
Sprinkle on 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Add three noodles.
Add one third of the ricotta mixture (not 1/3 cup, a third of what's there).
Two cups sauce.
8-ounces sliced mozzarella.
About 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Add three noodles.
Add one third of the ricotta mixture (all that remains).
Add two cups sauce.
Add half cup parmesan cheese. I like to put this under the mozzarella because mozzarella melts better.
Add the remaining 8-ounces sliced mozzarella.
Cover the lasagna with greased foil. If you don't grease the foil, you risk your cheese sticking to the foil when you remove it and that's just a tragedy we can't stand for.
Bake your lasagna at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil. Continue baking for another 20-30 minutes at 375, until the top is melty and you start to see golden brown spots on the cheese.
At this point you can crank your oven up to broil, move your oven rack up, and essentially torch the top of your lasagna if you like blackened brown edges. That's how we roll at our house. Don't walk away! 1 minute, 2 minutes max! Seriously. setting your masterpiece on fire would be the literal worst.
Let your lasagna rest for about 10 minutes before digging in. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut slices, and a spatula or wide spoon to lift each piece onto a plate. Garnish with chopped fresh basil and/or parsley, and fresh grating of parmesan cheese.
Serve with a big ol salad and some garlic bread (coming soon!) or breadsticks!